|Japan National Police Agency|
The National Police Agency is the central agency of the Japanese police system.
The agency's role is to determine general standards and policies and oversee, but not interfere with, the operations of the Prefectural Police Departments, although in national emergencies or large-scale disasters the agency is authorized to take full command of Prefectural Police Departments.
Police services of the Empire of Japan were placed under complete centralized control with the Police Affairs Bureau of the Home Ministry at their core. But after the surrender of Japan, the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers regarded this centralized police system as undemocratic.
During the Occupation, the principle of decentralization was introduced by the 1947 Police Law. Cities and large towns had their own municipal police services and the National Rural Police was responsible for smaller towns, villages and rural areas. However, most Japanese municipalities were too small to have a large police force and so sometimes they were unable to deal with large-scale violence. In addition, excessive fragmentation of police forces reduced the efficiency of police activities.
As a response to these problems, a complete restructuring created a more centralized system under the 1954 amended Police Law. All operational units except for the Imperial Guard were reorganized into Prefectural Police Departments for each prefecture and the National Police Agency was established as the central coordinating agency for these Police Departments.
- The Cultural Exchange Security Squad and the Monster Ops: Neutralization squad fall under the jurisdiction of the National Police Agency.
- The overall crime rate in Japan is low by North American and West European standards and has shown a general decline since the mid-1960s. The incidence of violent crime is especially low, due mainly to pervasive social pressure and conditioning to obey the law. Problems of particular concern are those associated with a modern industrialized nation, including juvenile delinquency, traffic control, and white-collar crime.